The Managing Director of Partnership Inves-tment Company Plc has been arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He was remanded in Ikoyi Prison following his arrest and arraignment.
His arrest, arraignment and remand in Ikoyi Prison were sequel to a petition by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which accused him of fraudulent misappropriation of the sum of N 1,237,245,000 and US$80,000.00 and for sundry offences including stealing and dishonest conversion of proceeds of share sale.
Some of the defrauded investors yesterday revealed that over 300 investors of Partnership Investment Company Plc (PIC) were swindled of over N4.8 billion.
Dishonest conversion of proceeds
Some of the victims whose shares were in the deal include former Managing Director of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI, Mr. Arnold Ekpe with over N1.237 billion worth of shares; Mr. Godwin Anono, Chairman Standard Shareholders Association of Nigeria N160 million; Mr. Alabi Olushola Ibrahim, N12.540 million; Mr. Solesi Samuel, N40 million worth of shares. Also among the victims is a widow with over N4 million worth of shares and other investors scattered across the country.
Narrating his ordeal, Olushola stated: “Mr. Ogiemwonyi, the Managing Director of Partnership Investment Company Plc called me to say that since I have some shares that are not being traded over the years that it would be good for me if his company could manage those shares and generate 10 per cent returns and that this would be paid to me twice a year. When in 2014 the returns were not forth coming, Ogiemwonyi started giving one excuse or the other; that the returns are being reinvested, it was then I realised that he was playing fowl, hence I demanded for my shares which could not be returned to me.
“Mr. Arnold Ekpe, through his lawyer, McPherson Barristers & Solicitors has written to the NSE for intervention and no remedy has been provided. Also, some of the other investors including myself have taken the case to court and Mr. Ogiemwonyi has been remanded in prison custody at Ikoyi, Lagos.”
Meanwhile, responding to the letter sent to the NSE over an allegation of the fraudulent conversion of the N1.237 billion shares belonging to Arnold O Ekpe, the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Olumide Orojimi said the Stock Exchange has already taken action on the matter.
According to a statement from the NSE: “On October 17,2016, The Exchange suspended Partnership Securities Limited (PSL) from trading on all floors of the Exchange, effective October 18, 2016. PSL remains under suspension from trading on the floor of the Exchange.
“On October 17, 2016, The Exchange requested the Central Securities Clearing System Plc. (CSCS) to request the settlement bank to place N42,499,761.20, being the proceeds from the sale of ETI shares for Mr. Ekpe made by PSL on October 14, but due to settle on October 18, 2016 into a special CSCS bank account in order to prevent the proceeds from settling into the account of PSL. Subsequently, the sum of N43,301,792.70 being the proceeds of sale less statutory charges was paid to Mr. Ekpe’s Union Bank Plc. account on November 3, 2016 as a direct result of the steps undertaken by The Exchange immediately upon its receipt of Mr. Ekpe’s complaint.
“The Exchange on October 19, 2016 formally informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the complaint and requested for a joint examination of PSL and its associated companies. This formal notification was a follow up on an earlier oral notification to relevant personnel of the Commission shortly after receipt of the complaint on October 17, 2016.
“The Exchange thereafter held a meeting with Mr. Ekpe, his solicitors McPherson Barristers & Solicitors (McPherson) and PSL on Monday, October 24,2016 to address the issue and take necessary steps towards recovery of the sums misappropriated and sanctioning of PSL upon conclusion of the matter.”
Olumide also explained: "The Exchange being a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) regulates its members with a view to ensuring fair treatment and protection of all investors equally within the market. By your appointment as Provisional Liquidator of Partnership, other creditors within the capital market to whom Partnership may be indebted, may be concerned that their interests could be in jeopardy and their interests may not be given due consideration. To this end, we believe that we can obtain assurances from you that the interests of all creditors would be given adequate consideration by your organization in view of the fact that the Companies and Allied Market Act, 1990 (CAMA) enjoins a Provisional Liquidator to be an officer of the court and act in the interest of all creditors concerned.”
Meanwhile, when contacted the Acting Managing Director, Partnership Investment Company Plc , Mr. Andrew Elueni via text message, he said, “The case is in court. Anything said may be prejudiced. Meanwhile, there is nothing like share scam as Partnership had the customer’s mandate to sell.”